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Story Archives: New narcotics 'officer' assigned Wisner beat
|New narcotics 'officer' assigned Wisner beat|
The Wisner Police Department recently introduced a new member to its force: a Belgian Malinois dog. Gohan, 18 months old, was trained in Mexico and is now a part of law enforcement in Wisner.
His handler, deputy Wayne Jones, is proud of the service Gohan will bring to the community. "Right now, we're just using him as a narcotics dog, but he is trained to do anything," Jones said.
"If he were in my patrol car and he saw a suspect attack me, Gohan would literally jump through the window and tear the man up," Jones added.
Funding was made possible through the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system, the U.S. Department of Justice says. Stephen Young, program manager for the K-9 department, wrote the grant for the town.
"This is something that is going to greatly benefit Wisner and the surrounding areas," Young said.
Wisner officials will soon be able to use Gohan for search and rescue operations, chasing and detaining suspects by the threat of being released.
The town of Wisner is proud of the latest addition to the police force, as noted by the mayor.
"This program is such an asset to our police department, community, and parish," Mayor Allyn Jean Luckett said. "This is really a great thing for our residents," she added.
Fleeing suspects should be aware that the dog can and will attack when commanded to. "We can only release the dog if we have absolute proof that he or she has committed a felony," Jones said. "If we have established that, we would have no problem releasing Gohan for an attack."
In Louisiana, intentionally injuring or killing a police dog is a felony.
"If someone shoots at Gohan, it is just like shooting at one of us," Chief
Cureington said. "He is an officer." Those convicted of killing a canine
officer will be fined and can face up to ten years in prison. Fallen police
dogs are usually given a full police funeral.
Rusty Roberts, a Wisner resident, says he believes Gohan will
be an advantage to the community. "There are plenty of drugs around here. If they can catch these people and prosecute them with this new program, it would be great," Roberts said.
"The mayor and I work together to make Wisner a better place," said Billy
Cureington, Wisner Chief of Police. "Everything we do, we do as a team, and we try to make our community the best it can possibly be."
Gohan, who's outdoor dog house is air conditioned, lives with deputy Jones in Wisner.
"Our mission is to bring back pride and community involvement in our town,"Jones said. "Not only will we doing that, but making it safer as well."